FracDallas - Factual information about hydraulic fracturing and natural gas production


This website explores the facts, truths and myths about natural gas exploration and production using the slickwater horizontal hydraulic fracturing process in the Barnett, Haynesville and Eagle Ford Shales of Texas, as well as other shale formations nationwide. Our purpose is to present the best available information about natural gas exploration and production to help civic leaders and citizens make informed decisions about how to proceed with this heavy industrial process in their communities.


Sponsoring Organizations

Environment Texas
Green Source DFW

Community Organizations

Don't Frac with Dallas
Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling
BlueDaze Drilling Reform
Westchester Gasette
Fort Worth Can Do
Save the Trinity Aquifer
Argyle - Bartonville Communities Alliance
Corinth Cares
Denton Citizens for Responsible Urban Drilling
North Central Texas Communities Alliance
Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling
Denton Stakeholders Drilling Advisory Group

Support Organizations

Energy Policy Forum
Natural Resources Defense Council - The Earth's best Defense
Sierra Club - Texas
Earthworks - Protecting Communities and the Environment
ShaleTest.org - Environmental Data Collection
Texas Oil and Gas Project
Downwinders at Risk - Reducing toxic air pollution in North Texas
Natural Gas Watch
National Alliance for Drilling Reform


*** DFW AREA NEWS ***


Cowardly Denton City Council Leads from the Rear

The following is an open letter to the Denton, Texas City Council following their decisions on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, to deny a citizens petition for a ban on hydraulic fracturing sending the measure to a referendum vote on the November mid-term ballot.

Last night, I attended the City Council meeting for the vote on the ban on hydraulic fracturing, and was there until 3:00 AM, when the Council cowardly chose to be followers rather than leaders on a very important issue. The excuses I heard were pitiful rationalizations for why the council chose to "lead from the rear" instead of voting to protect the health and safety of its citizens.

I want to discuss three flaws in the reasoning used to deny the motion for the ban.

First is the issue of a "taking." This is a false argument. Every day the council regulates, and often prohibits, use of private land for commercial purposes because such land use may or would be injurious to the greater community at large. If I owned land in Denton and wanted to build a drag strip, then I would be denied that right ON MY PRIVATE LAND because my drag strip would bring traffic, noise, lights and a dangerous operation into close proximity of myself and my neighbors.

If I owned land in Denton and wanted to open a sexually oriented business, then I would be denied the right to do so if my property was within 1,000 feet of a home, school, church, daycare facility or other protected use property.

If I wanted to build a cement plant in the middle of a residential neighborhood, then I would be denied that right because my cement plant would not be compatible with the normal activities of a residential development.

In neither case would you be worried about being sued for "illegally taking" my land without just compensation even though I would be deprived of potential revenues by your actions. So, why would you give the oil and gas industry a special consideration that you would not give another less dangerous and less offensive business? Frankly, I fail to understand your "logic", and it is apparent that you need a different city attorney who actually understands the law. If your logic had ANY merit at all, then you would be prohibited from regulating land use through zoning laws when the fact is you frequently control land use by zoning specifically to protect residents and communities and insure cohesive neighborhoods. Only Mr. Roden seemed to have understood this simple fact of the law.

Second, on what basis do you assume that passing the ban would have resulted in litigation by the oil and gas industry while citizens passing the ban in a referendum would not? I don't understand your thought process on this matter at all. Former Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt was asked, in a public meeting, if the City of Dallas would be sued if it denied the right to drill to companies that has bought leases from the City of Dallas. Ms. Hunt replied, "Of course we would be sued. We get sued every day. That is why the City of Dallas has the second largest law firm in the State of Texas." Sometimes, you just have to do what is right and then face the consequences. That is what leadership is all about.

Yet, you on the Denton City Council seem more concerned about being sued as a city rather than about protecting your citizens from harm even though you know and acknowledge the problems of urban drilling and the failures of some operators in compliance with rules and regulations that you enacted to protect your communities.

Third, is the issue of leadership. Citizens elect people to be their representatives in government. We elect our leaders to LEAD! You were elected to make the tough choices based upon best available information and what is necessary to protect citizens' health and safety, quality of life, property values and the environment. That should ALWAYS be your benchmark, but you chose to placate an industry that you publicly acknowledge violates the rules and regulations and does so with impunity.

Instead of leading you are allowing the oil and gas industry to control the dialogue, and you are willing to cost your citizens a lot of money doing the job they elected you to do.

Mr. Roden, I am proud of the efforts you made on behalf of Denton citizens. To the rest of you, you are nothing but cowards hiding behind skirts of the oil and gas industry even though you know they lie to you and refuse to abide by fair and reasonable regulations. You all need to grow a pair and take a lesson from what our Dallas City Council did in a similar situation where we kicked the industry out of Dallas and never allowed them to drill the first well, then passed a drilling ordinance that industry refers to as a "de facto moratorium against drilling."

Thank you for wasting my time last night. Apparently, the will of your citizens means nothing to you, and I intend to publicize what you did on the FracDallas website so the whole world, which you acknowledge is watching what you do, will see how you crater before the oil and gas industry instead of standing up for Denton citizens.

Respectfully,

Marc W. McCord, Director
FracDallas
http://fracdallas.org/
director@fracdallas.org



Natural Gas Production Causes Property Tax Reductions

Arlington, Texas resident Kim Feil saw her property taxes reduced by 31% after she protested her latest property valuation on the basis that natural gas wells and compressor stations nearby had devalued her property substantially because of air pollution, noise, truck traffic and threats to health and safety. Ironically, gas production facilities nearby also received tax appraisals that were lower than in previous years because their own activities reduced the market value of their properties. This is a new front in the war against urban drilling that every property owner should pursue. Read the full story HERE.

Dallas got a new drilling ordinance
New Gas Drilling Ordinance
Passes City Council

On a 9-6 vote the Dallas City Council passed a new Gas Drilling Ordinance on Wednesday, December 11, just in time for Christmas, and showed its citizens that sometimes they really do listen to us and make decisions that put our interests ahead of for-profit corporations. Led by Scott Griggs, Sandy Greyson, Philip Kingston, Carolyn Davis, Monica Alonzo and Adam Medrano, our Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Council Members Jennifer Gates and Dwaine caraway decided that gas drilling really is not the best idea for a densely populated urban area in approving an ordinance that includes a setback requirement of at least 1,500 feet from the nearest edge of a padsite to the nearest edge of a protected use property line. They also banned injection wells in Dallas and limited compressor stations to Industrial Manufacturing districts only. They also approved a requirement for 100% chemical disclosure and the use of discrete tagging additives to track fluid migration in groundwater, and they mandated baseline testing for water, air and soil to establish a standard to determine when pollution occurs.

To be sure, the ordinance has some weak points that need to be tightened up, but on the whole it is the strongest gas drilling ordinance in the nation, and it will afford Dallas citizens and our adjacent neighbors far more protection for health and safety, property values, quality of life and our environment than our neighbors to the west, north and south currently have.

News of the new ordinance reverberated around the world within minutes setting off a firestorm of protests from those who favor and promote natural gas exploration and production in populated cities.

We thank the Dallas City Council and former Councilwoman Angela Hunt, who was the first to sound an alarm on this issue, for standing up to protect citizens as their first priority. It is, indeed, a very Merry Christmas present to those who cherish clean water, clean air and clean soil. And, we would be remiss if we failed to thank our City Plan Commissioners for recommending such a strong ordinance to the City Council. This was leadership that our citizens and our city deserve.

KERA, PBS Abdicated Objectivity by Accepting ANGA Funding

For some time now the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), which includes KERA TV and Radio in Dallas, has been accepting funding from the American Natural Gas Association (ANGA) in return for running pro-gas drilling ads and commentary while offering scant to zero opposition opinion about the health and safety of natural gas exploration and production. PBS stations are constantly running ads extolling the virtues and safety of natural gas, which we know to be false in fact and by example. It is time we let PBS stations know of our opposition to their ANGA sellout by boycotting PBS programming and donations. We demand that PBS stop taking money from ANGA or other natural gas producers and begin to offer objective commentary that is truthful about the hazards of natural gas rather than promoting false claims of its safety and benefits.

Fort Worth, Arlington Sue Chesapeake for Underpayment of Gas Royalties

The City of Fort Worth has joined the City of Arlington, Trinity Valley School and Tarrant County landowners, including Ed Bass, in suing Chesapeake Energy and its partner Total E&P (France) for improperly failing to pay royalties on natural gas production. The lawsuits allege that Chesapeake improperly deducted costs of production services and made sham sales with below market value prices on natural gas to its own affiliates in actions that denied royalties to mineral owners. Read more HERE.

Deborah Rogers on the Economics of Shale Gas Drilling



FracDallas Represented at Global Frackdown
FracDallas members Marc McCord, Tim Stanton and Eddie Morgan at the Global Frackdown in Dallas on October 19, 2013

FracDallas was well represented at the Global Frackdown event in Dallas on Saturday, October 19, outside the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which features a fictional account display about the "safety" of hydraulic fracturing. Present from our group were Director Marc McCord, Tim Stanton, Eddie Morgan, Molly Rooke, Dick and Chris Guidi, and Linda Cooke, who took the photo above to document our participation. FracDallas members were about 25% of the total participants, which included members of Dallas MoveOn (event sponsors), Code Pink, Texas Action Coalition for the Environment, Dallas Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment and Downwinders at Risk.

*** TEXAS NEWS ***


EPA Right in Original Parker County Well Contamination Ruling

In 2010, EPA Region 6 issued a ruling that stated Range Resources has polluted the water wells of Parker County residents Steve and Shyla Lipsky and others when they frac'ed a well nearby. Some months later, follow a finding by the Railroad Commission of Texas clearing Range of any culpability and wanting Range's support for a study EPA was undertaking on the braoder issues of well contamination, the EPA in Washington, D.C. ordered Region 6 to rescind their original report and lift the order that Range remediate the problem in Parker County. Now, a report to the US COngress by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA dated December 20, 2013, and withheld until noon on December 24, 2013, states that Region 6 was initially correct in its finding of probable cause against Range Resources and its subsequent actions to protect families whose houses were in imminent danger of exploding. Read the Inspector General's Report HERE.

The Cerny Family in the Eagle Ford Shale


Gas Injection Probably Triggered Small Earthquakes Near Snyder, Texas

A new study correlates a series of small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas between 2006 and 2011 with the underground injection of large volumes of gas, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) - a finding that is relevant to the process of capturing and storing CO2 underground. Read the full story HERE.

Gasland 2 Comes to Texas

Gasland 2 and Josh Fox came to Texas for three screenings of the documentary film about hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas. The screening at the Texas Theatre in Dallas on Friday, September 27, was a sell-out with nearly 650 people in attendance. The Fort Worth screening on Saturday, September 28, had a crowd of over 400 people. Both were attended by audiences that was attentive and engaging, asking pertinent questions and showing signs of greater citizen participation than the phenomenal levels we have already experienced in our area. It was great to see Josh Fox again, and he pledged to return here and assist us in any way possible as we move forward in limiting where drilling can be done in our densely populated cities.

Gasland, Part II, is still showing on HBO, so if you were unable to attend the screening in person, then it is still available on HBO through the end of the year. Be sure to share it with your family, friends and neighbors because only an engaged citizenry can protect our communities from the ravages of the oil and gas industry in its quest for higher corporate profits and shareholder equity without regard for public health and safety, property values or the environment.

WFAA-TV Brett Shipp Report on Range Resources Well Contamination in Parker County

Range Resources filed lawsuits against homeowner Steve Lipsky and Texas Environmental activist Sharon Wilson claiming both lied and injured Range's name when they reported natural gas leaking in the Lipsky family water well at their home in Parker County, Texas. Now, a story by WFAA-TV reporter Brett Shipp confirms what Lipsky and Wilson said, and provides proof that Range knew about the problem, as did the Railroad Commission of Texas, both of which hid the truth from the general public in defending Range Resources. Below is the WFAA video of the latest installment of this story:



Them


A Texan Tragedy:
Ample Oil, No Water

Texas has been in severe drought conditions for over three years, but what has occurred as a result of oil and gas exploration using high volume slickwater horizontal hydraulic fracturing has compounded the problem immensely. Now, Texas towns are running out of drinking water and TCEQ projects that 30 towns will run out of water by year's end. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry continues to use and permanently destroy millions of gallons of our irreplacable, precious water resources with every frac job.

Suzanne Goldenberg has written an expose in The Guardian about this issue and how it is impacting lives and businesses all over Texas right now - and how it will impact us even more in the near future. Go to The Guardian to read the story of what happens to people when they start running out of drinking water.

Don't Frac Your Mother


Blowouts and Well Control Problems

For a long time we have known about blowouts and other well control problems occurring in the Barnett Shale and elsewhere around the nation, but few have known about specific cases facts about those incidents because that information is carefully shielded from public disclosure ... unless one knows where to look. The web site of the Railroad Commission of Texas lists such accidents, and the information is available HERE.

Shale Game or Shell Game?

Everyone has heard about all the money to be made in natural gas exploration and production. Gas companies have been touting their success and potential windfall profits from their operations for over a decade, pitching their claims to potential investors and the general public upon whose support they rely to get drilling permits in populated areas. The promise of becoming the next "Jed Clampett" has had a lot of people defending an industry based upon expectations that shale gas would "free us from foreign energy imports", "give us plenty of cheap, domestically produced energy" that would last 100, 200 or even 300 years and that "natural gas is cleaner than burning coal."

All these claims have been made for a single purpose - to make money for the owners and shareholders of gas companies. But, the claims have not all been true and the results are far less than projected.

Peter Gorman has written an article about the Shale Game that bears reading and thinking about as gas prices hover at aroud one third of the production cost to get the stuff out of the ground. You can read his article HERE.


Only YOU can prevent faucet fires

Artwork created by Lmnopi:
Lmnopi.blogspot.com


*** NATIONAL NEWS ***


Oklahoma Passes California in Number of Earthquakes

During the period of Saturday, July 12, 2014 through Monday, July 14, 2014, Oklahoma registered 9 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater, with the strongest quake registering 4.3 and another registering 4.2. The US Geological Society (USGS) has now declared Oklahoma to the national leader in earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.0. Quoting from a news story on CNN On-Line, "Oklahoma has now surpassed California in quakes, and seismologists see no end in sight, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"California has recorded about 140 3.0-magnitude quakes or greater, compared to 207 in Oklahoma."

Read the full article HERE.


Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Overturns Act 13

Today is a day of celebration in Pennsylvania as the Supreme Court overturned the dispicable Act 13 that stripped away individual rights and gave gas producers carte blanche to harm people and property with impunity. Quoting from PA State Representative Jesse White's website, "State Rep. Jesse White, D-Washington/Allegheny/Beaver, released the following statement on today’s landmark ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding Act 13, which upholds and expands the Commonwealth Court’s July 2012 decision to strike down sections of the Pennsylvania gas drilling law taking away local zoning rights as unconstitutional.

In making its ruling, the Supreme Court relied upon Article 1, Sec. 27 of the PA Constitution which guarantees the right of clean air and water for Pennsylvanians, as well as the violation of substantive due process rights stemming from various provisions of Act 13, including the provision superseding local zoning ordinances. The Court also ordered Commonwealth Court to revisit several arguments previously thrown out, including the controversial "physician gag order." The local impact fee portion of Act 13 remains unaffected by today’s decision.

Colorado Citizens Vote to Ban Frac'ing in Four Towns

Citizens in the Colorado towns of Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette and Broomfield, in spite of being outspent 40 to 1 by the oil and gas industry, voted to ban or place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The election results are a huge defeat for Governor Hickenlooper, The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and the oil and gas industry. Broomfield's victory is by only 13 votes, and a recount is being tallied, but these are significant setbacks to an industry that is accustomed to having its way at the expense of ordinary citizens and the environment. Read the whole story HERE.

How Shale Fracking Led to an Ohio Town's First 100 Earthquakes

Since records began in 1776, the people of Youngstown, Ohio had never experienced an earthquake. However, from January 2011, 109 tremors were recorded and new research in Geophysical Research-Solid Earth reveals how this may be the result of shale fracking. Read the full story HERE.

Want One of These in YOUR Backyard?



Flooding Comes to Colorado Oil and Gas Fields



Living Next to a Gas Well



Treatment Plants Accused of Illegally Disposing Radioactive Fracking Wastewater


Waste Treatment Corporation, a Pennsylvania water treatment company, has been illegally discharging radioactive oil and gas wastewater since at least 2003, and continues to discharge such wastewater without authorization under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Streams Law, according to the notice of intent to sue delivered by Clean Water Action to the company.

Many pollutants associated with oil and gas drilling - including chlorides, bromides, strontium and magnesium - were discovered immediately downstream of the plant’s discharge pipe in Warren, PA, state regulators discovered in January. Upstream of the plant, those same contaminants were found at levels one percent or less than those downstream, or were not present at all. State officials also discovered that the sediments immediately downstream from the plant were tainted with high levels of radium-226, radium-228 and uranium. Those particular radioactive elements are known to be found at especially levels in wastewater from Marcellus shale gas drilling and fracking, and state regulators have warned that the radioactive materials would tend to accumulate in river sediment downstream from plants accepting Marcellus waste.

PHMSA Data on Oil & Gas Pipeline Accidents


The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) data on the number of pipeline accidents, deaths, injuries and property damage since 1986, shows numbers that are astounding. In nearly 8,000 pipeline accidents 512 people have been killed, another 2,360 have been injured and property damage has exceeded $6.158 Billion. These are the added costs of oil and gas production that are borne by the general public so that oil and gas companies can make money.

For a graphic representation of these accidents see the video below. You will notice that a larger percent of total accidents have occurred in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kansas than in the rest of the nation. In Texas alone, there were 1,712 pipeline accidents (natural gas 491 / oil 1,221) resulting in 81 deaths, 371 injuries and more than $583 Million in property damage, most involving Kinder or Atmos.



Wastewater Injection Spurred Biggest Earthquake Yet

The 2011 earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma, which registered 5.7 on the Richter Sale, was caused by deep injection of wastewater from natural gas exploration and production. The temblor was felt 800 miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It goes down in history as the biggest earthquake ever felt in Oklahoma, resulting in destruction of 14 homes, injuries to two people and buckling of a federal highway. The injection well that caused the earthquake is located near the Wilzetta Fault, and it is still in operation today.

While studies by the US Geologial Survey and the National Academy of Sciences attribute injection well activities with earthquakes, including this one, the Oklahoma Geological Survey has yet to issue an official account of the sequence. In a statement responding to the paper appearing in the journal "Geology" about this earthquake, Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland said the study showed the earthquake sequence could have been triggered by the injections. But, he said, "it is still the opinion of those at the Oklahoma Geological Survey that these earthquakes could be naturally occurring. There remain many open questions, and more scientific investigations are underway on this sequence of earthquakes and many others within the state of Oklahoma."

Click HERE for the full story.

For a more comprehensive report on injection well induced earthquakes and industry efforts to suppress scientific evidence linking them please visit Mother Jones .

Post Carbon Institute Report
Drill, Baby, Drill

The Post Carbon Institute has just released a comprehensive report discussing the economics of fossil fuel exploration and production in the face of economic realities and global markets. The report, titled Drill, Baby, Drill, discusses the truth about pursuing a fossil fuel future rather than moving to develop alternatives that are sustainable and clean. At issue is the high cost of dwindling production and increased environmental damage to our planet.

TEDX Air Pollution Study Released
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) has released a study of the health effects of air pollution caused by natural gas exploration and drilling near residents in Colorado where TEDX is based. The peer-reviewed study substantiates what has long been known about the health damages caused by exposure to chemicals, even in extremely small doses, that adversely affect child development and IQ. Read the full study HERE.


ProPublica - Journalism in the Public Interest

*** INTERNATIONAL NEWS ***


FracDallas Director Appears
on RT TV in Moscow, Russia


2013: A Year of Leaks, Spills, Explosions


As 2013 comes to a close it is important to look back on the safety record of an energy industry that promotes itself as operating in a safe manner that brings us many benefits with few negative effects. The following information is from an Alternet.org story about disasters energy producers would prefer you not know about. Let's just call it the energy industry disasters heard around the world as we look back on a year of disasters, injuries, deaths and property damage.

Pipelines:

March 29:An ExxonMobil pipeline carrying Canadian Wabasca heavy crude from the Athabasca oil sands ruptures and spills thousands of barrels of oil in Mayflower, Arkansas. The ruptured pipeline gushed 210,000 gallons of heavy Canadian crude into a residential street and forced the evacuation of 22 homes. Exxon was hit with a paltry $2.6 million fine by federal pipeline safety regulators for the incident in November - just 1/3000th of its third quarter profits.

May 20: Underground tar sands leaks start popping up in Alberta, Canada, and do not stop for at least five months. In September the company responsible was ordered to drain a lake so that contamination on the lake’s bottom can be cleaned up. As of September 11, the leaks had spilled more than 403,900 gallons - or about 9,617 barrels - of oily bitumen into the surrounding boreal forest and muskeg, the acidic, marshy soil found in the forest.

July 30: About 50 tons of oil spills into the sea off Rayong province of Thailand from a leak in the pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical PLC. It was the fourth major oil spill in the country’s history.

August 13: An ethane and propane pipeline belonging to Tesoro Corp. running beneath an Illinois cornfield ruptures and explodes. Residents heard a massive blast and then saw flames shooting 300 feet into the air, visible for 20 miles.

September 29: A North Dakota farmer winds up discovering the largest onshore oil spill in U.S. history, the size of seven football fields. At least 20,600 barrels of oil leaked from a Tesoro Corp-owned pipeline onto the Jensens’ land, and it went unreported to North Dakotans for more than a week. An AP investigation later discovered that nearly 300 oil spills and 750 "oil field incidents" had gone unreported to the public since January 2012.

October 7: An Oil and Natural Gas Corp. pipeline that carries crude from the offshore Mumbai High fields to India ruptures and spills at an onshore facility, but oil winds up flowing into the Arabian sea because of rainfall.

October 9: A natural gas pipeline explodes in northwest Oklahoma, sparking a large fire and prompting evacuations. No injuries or deaths were reported.

October 30: 17,000 gallons of crude oil spill from an eight-inch pipeline owned by Koch Pipeline Company in Texas. The spill impacted a rural area and two livestock ponds near Smithville and was discovered on a routine aerial inspection.

November 14: A Chevron natural gas pipeline explodes in Milford, Texas, causing the town of 700 people to evacuate. The flames could reportedly be seen for miles.

November 22: An oil pipeline explodes in Qingdao, China, killing 62 and setting ocean on fire. The underground pipeline’s explosion opened a hole in the road that swallowed at least one truck, according to Reuters, and oil seeped into utility pipes under Qingdao.

November 29: A 30-inch gas gas pipeline in a rural area of western Missouri ruptures and explodes, sending a 300 foot high fireball into the air.

Offshore and Onshore Rigs:

January 22: A Devon Energy natural gas rig in Utah catches fire, causing evacuations for half a mile radius of the rig. No injuries are reported.

July 7: A hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas well drilling pad in West Virginia explodes and injures seven people, four with potentially life-threatening burns. The explosion occurred while workers were pumping water down a well, part of the hydraulic fracturing process for recovering gas trapped in shale rock. The tanks that recover the water and chemical mixture after they return to the surface are what reportedly exploded.

July 27: BP’s Hercules 265 offshore gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana explodes, enveloping the rig in a cloud of gas and a thin sheen of gas in the water. After spewing gas for more than a day, the rig finally "bridged over", meaning small pieces of sediment and sand blocked more gas from escaping.

August 20: A gas rig belonging to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan exploded in the Caspian sea while workers were carrying out exploratory drilling, when it hit a pocket of gas at unexpectedly high pressure.

August 28: A "well-control incident" at an oil drilling rig in rural south Texas causes an "intense" explosion after workers were drilling horizontally into the Eagle Ford Shale, causing homes to be evacuated. No injuries reported.

Train Derailments:

March 27: A Canadian Pacific Railway train derails, spilling 30,000 gallons of tar sands oil in western Minnesota.Reuters called it "the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom."

July 6: A unit, 74-car freight train carrying Bakken formation crude oil derails in Lac-Megantic, Canada, causing an incredibly tragic fire and explosion. Forty-two people were pronounced dead, 30 buildings downtown destroyed. Emergency responders describe a "war zone." 2,000 people evacuated because of toxic fumes, explosions, and fires.

October 19: A train carrying crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas derails west of Alberta, Canada, causing an explosion and fire. No injuries were reported. Nine of the derailed cars were carrying liquefied petroleum gas and four carried crude. The crude oil cars were intact and kept away from the fires with no indications of any leaks.

November 8: A 90-car train carrying North Dakota crude derails and explodes in a rural area of western Alabama. Flames spewed into the air on a Friday, only finally dying down by Sunday, in what the Huffington Post called "the most dramatic U.S. accident since the oil-by-rail boom began."

Power Plants and Refineries:

April 5: Residents near an ExxonMobil refinery begin to smell "burning tires and oil" after the refinery leaked condensate water that accumulated while the company was flaring gas. Through the leak, ExxonMobil announced that it had released 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 10 pounds of benzene. According to readings at the spill site, the refinery measured 160 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide and 2 parts per million of benzene in the air.

August 8 and 15: 15,000 liters of oil spills into local streams in Cuba, aftertwo separate instances at the Sergio Soto Refinery. The oil spill was the result of a negligent operator who failed to properly secure the residuals trap used to contain the hydrocarbon. While some of the oil was able to be contained, much of it was pushed upstream because of strong rainfall following the spill.

August 28: Approximately 20 gallons of partially refined petroleum from a New Jersey refinery spills into the Delaware River, after a leak in a heat exchanger that is part of the refinery’s crude oil processing unit. The spill was reported two hours after workers discovered it, when they realized it was going into the river.

Miscellaneous:

January 27: A barge carrying 668,000 gallons of light crude oil on the Mississippi River crashed into a railroad bridge. An 80,000 gallon tank on the vessel was damaged, spilling oil into the waterway, which prompted officials to close the river for eight miles in either direction.

September 15: Fuel tanks explode at Virgin Islands gas station, resulting in a huge blast and a fire and causing two injuries. The St. Thomas community of Bovoni was evacuated and traffic was diverted after the explosion.

October 1: An underground fuel reservoir explodes on a Czech Lukoil petrol station on a highway in Prague, killing one person and injuring two.

November 23: Five are hurt after a gas tank near a drilling rig explodes in Wyoming.

December 14: Thousands of gallons of gasoline spill into a harbor in southern Alaska on Saturday after a pump used to funnel fuel into boats is accidentally severed. The 5,500 gallon spill occurred in the small village of the village of Kake, whose residents rely on fish and subsistence to get by.

Frac'ing by the Numbers

The Environment America Research & Policy Center report, Fracking by the Numbers, is the first to measure the damaging footprint of fracking to date.

"The numbers don’t lie - fracking has taken a dirty and destructive toll on our environment," said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America. "If this dirty drilling continues unchecked, these numbers will only get worse."

"At health clinics, we’re seeing nearby residents experiencing nausea, headaches and other symptoms linked to fracking pollution," said David Brown, a toxicologist who has reviewed health data from Pennsylvania. "With billions of gallons of toxic waste coming each year, we’re just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of health risks."

The report measured key indicators of fracking threats across the country, including:

  • 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater generated in 2012 - enough to flood all of Washington, DC, in a 22-foot deep toxic lagoon

  • 450,000 tons of air pollution produced in one year

  • 250 billion gallons of fresh water used since 2005

  • 360,000 acres of land degraded since 2005

  • 100 million metric tons of global warming pollution since 2005
  • Fracking also inflicts other damage not quantified in the report - ranging from contamination of residential wells to ruined roads to earthquakes at disposal sites. Rad the full story HERE.

    European Union Suspicious of Fracking Industry’s Empty Promises

    On July 11, 2013, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted 51-18 in favor of endorsing a proposal to impose a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for all shale gas drilling activities in the European Union (EU). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) showed a healthy dose of suspicion about the empty promises of the shale gas industry about its ability to guarantee so-called "safe fracking", according to the story found HERE.

    Fracking Ban Halts First Shale Gas Project in Spain


    According to a Christian Science Monitor story by guest blogger Joao Peixe on July 8, 2013, "A ban on fracking in a northern region of Spain has crimped Repsol SA's plans to begin drilling for shale gas in the north of Spain. Repsol had planned to begin seismic studies, with a view to drilling, in July, but the Cantabrian fracking ban, which prevent all hydraulic fracturing activities within the region’s borders, has put a hold on plans." This come after France banned all hydraulic fracing in 2012, and is yet another sign that European countries are learning from mistakes made in the U.S. You can read the article by Peixe HERE.



    Texas Administrative Code, Title 30, Part 1, Chapter 101, Subchapter A, Rule 101.4, Environmental Quality, Nuisance

    No person shall discharge from any source whatsoever one or more air contaminants or combinations thereof, in such concentration and of such duration as are or may tend to be injurious to or to adversely affect human health or welfare, animal life, vegetation, or property, or as to interfere with the normal use and enjoyment of animal life, vegetation, or property.


    33 U.S.C. § 408 : US Code - Section 408: Taking possession of, use of, or injury to harbor or river improvements

    It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to take possession of or make use of for any purpose, or build upon, alter, deface, destroy, move, injure, obstruct by fastening vessels thereto or otherwise, or in any manner whatever impair the usefulness of any sea wall, bulkhead, jetty, dike, levee, wharf, pier, or other work built by the United States, or any piece of plant, floating or otherwise, used in the construction of such work under the control of the United States, in whole or in part, for the preservation and improvement of any of its navigable waters or to prevent floods, or as boundary marks, tide gauges, surveying stations, buoys, or other established marks, nor remove for ballast or other purposes any stone or other material composing such works...

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    Last updated July 16, 2014